By Adam Martin
One of the very best female fighters in MMA returns this weekend, as former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm meets Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC on FOX 20.
It's Holm's first fight since she lost her title to Miesha Tate, who choked her out cold at UFC 196 in one of the most exciting comebacks in MMA all year.
Holm was a minute and a half away from retaining her belt against Tate, as she controlled the majority of the fight with her striking, but ultimately the fight went to the ground, and Tate got Holm's back, taking her title in the process.
While Tate won the belt and got to main event arguably the biggest card in the sport's history at UFC 200, the UFC instead booked Holm in the main event at UFC on FOX 20 against the dangerous but unknown Shevchenko, a fight that's high risk yet low reward for Holm.
booted in the head by Holm and KO'd with ground and pound at UFC 193.
Ultimately, the UFC is a business, and Rousey is one of the biggest draws in the sport. It could be argued Holm is also someone the fans want to see fight, but it's totally understandable that the UFC wants to go with Rousey instead, although Nunes is a really tough return bout for her.
Still, Holm will get paid, and Holm needs to get back into the cage and get a win. The fight with Shevchenko is certainly winnable, but the risk vs. reward isn't where it should be, considering Holm was the one who dethroned Rousey and nearly beat Tate. All Holm can do now is go out there this weekend, beat Shevchenko, and cross her fingers in the hopes that Rousey delays her return again,
because if Rousey returns, it might be a while before Holm gets another title fight, even though she deserves it.
UFC on FOX 20
• Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.
UFC on Fox 20: Holm vs. Shevchenko takes place on July 23, 2016 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois.